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Friday, May 24, 2013
Join the March Against Monsanto
In a March Against Monsanto Saturday, citizens worldwide will unite to oppose biotech conglomerate Monsanto and call for mandatory labeling of foods containing genetically modified organisms.
Rising rates of diabetes, autism, food allergies and cancers parallel growth of Monsanto’s genetically engineered soybeans, corn and sugar beets, making GMO labeling urgent.
The so-called Monsanto Protection Act fuels this protest, but it is not the only issue. Monsanto’s prosecution of organic farmers whose crops Monsanto contaminates helps define its ethics. Scientists have found its built-in seed pesticides in soil, in pollen collected by bees and on dead bees.
A revolving-door relationship between Monsanto and the Food and Drug Administration produces harmful policy. FDA Food Safety Czar Michael Taylor, a former Monsanto vice president, introduced GMO as “food additives” instead of new, radical gene combinations unknown in evolution and breeding.
Join this historic Grandin Road MAM, at 10 a.m. Signs, costumes and a children’s parade calling for preservation of seed diversity, followed by an organic picnic at Grandin Gardens, will bring this worldwide march to Roanoke so we can choose wholesome over altered food and take back our democracy.
Monsanto’s wealth will not be built upon our health.
The March Against Monsanto
Value of the arts can be counted
Al Shumate raises excellent questions in his recent letter, “What is art’s real bottom-line value?” (May 16). He asks if economic development dollars attributed to the arts are new money to the area boosting our economy, or simply money that was already here.
Arts and culture do provide an economic return. Roanoke’s rail history is known and admired around the world. By celebrating that heritage, the Virginia Museum of Transportation and the O. Winston Link Museum are our major destination attractions. These museums attract tourists and their dollars, euros and yen to the valley — definitely new money to Roanoke.
In 2012, the Virginia Museum of Transportation’s guests included more than 14,000 tourists from every state and 49 countries. According to research updated annually by the Roanoke Valley Convention & Visitors Bureau, these visitors spent approximately $2.28 million in the valley.
Another 4,000 visitors made day trips to the museum from localities outside the Roanoke Valley and up to 100 miles away. Research is not available for day-trip visitor spending, but surely they bought lunch, maybe a tank of gas or did some shopping. These guests provide new money and tax revenue, with no associated costs to our municipal governments.
President, Board of Directors
Virginia Museum of Transportation
Selective outrage against Obama
Re: Keith Carver’s letter “They don’t know? That’s a problem,” May 20:
Fifty-three U.S. embassy workers died in 13 different attacks on our embassies under President George W. Bush’s watch, and another 200 were injured.
One of these occurred March 2, 2006, in Karachi, Pakistan (“Bomb kills U.S. diplomat in port city,” March 3, 2006, news story). A suicide bomber attacked the U.S. Consulate, killing four people — including U.S. diplomat David Foy, who was directly targeted by the attackers.
Republicans never once called for a congressional hearing into their deaths, nor blamed Bush for the attacks. Where is the “outrage” from people like Carver?
There were zero investigations. Carver and his ilk are still outraged that their candidate, Mitt Romney, was defeated by President Obama, and are still crying in their beer. They are not outraged — just outvoted.
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